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Conservation Clips is a weekly collection of articles distributed by NACD that provides our members and partners with the latest news in what's driving conservation. These articles are not indicative of NACD policy and are the opinions of their authors, unless otherwise noted. If you have a relevant submission or need assistance with accessing articles, please contact the NACD Communications Team.

High Plains Journal: NACD announces launch of district grants application period

The National Association of Conservation Districts announced the launch of its 2021 application period for the Friends of NACD District Grants Program.

Advanced Reporting Times: Agricultural Conservation Programs Continue Operation Amid the Pandemic – Updated
By Niccolo Bechtler

Tim Palmer, one panelist [at a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry], is the president of the National Association of Conservation Districts, an organization that advocates for legislative support of the country’s 3,000 conservation districts. These county-level agencies use public and private aid for conservation projects such as restoring wetlands and planting trees.

No-Till Farmer: Tracking & Tapping Into Natural Nitrogen Cycle Cuts Inputs
By Dan Crummett

Iowa no-tiller [and NACD Soil Health Champion] Mitchell Hora uses weekly soil samples and the Haney test throughout the season to monitor naturally-available nutrients in corn and soybeans. The extra effort has cut his nitrogen rate in half.

TAPinto: Local Farms Get Preliminary Approval for Farmland Preservation Program

The Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders has given preliminary approval for six new farms to enter into the County’s Farmland Preservation Program, including four that are part of a critical land buffer around New Jersey’s largest military installation, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

Crow River Media: What does a soil and water district supervisor do?
By Jeremy Jones

"We assist the technicians in each one of these districts," [McLeod County SWCD Supervisor Mark] Schnobrich said, "and participate as a citizen voice for how conservation should be implemented. ... If (landowners) have complaints, they have someone they can talk to directly who can help convey their concerns."

WKOK: SU’s Freshwater Research Institute, and conservation district get grant

The [Susquehanna University] announced Monday its Freshwater Research Institute and the Snyder County Conservation District were awarded a $32,000 grant from DEP. The funding will support the development of a watershed implementation plan for the watershed and the creation of a quality assurance project plan to guide future monitoring.

Scriptype: Conservation district collects milkweed seedpods to create monarch habitats

The Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, along with other soil and water conservation districts across Ohio, are collecting milkweed seedpods [that] will be processed by Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative to establish new plantings and create habitat for monarch butterflies.

Duke Energy: Duke Energy invests more than $200,000 in projects that help preserve and enhance southwest Ohio’s and Northern Kentucky’s natural resources

The Duke Energy Foundation recently awarded more than $200,000 in grants to 18 Ohio and Northern Kentucky recipients, [including the Clermont Soil and Water Conservation district], that will fund environmental projects, wildlife conservation efforts and environmental educational programs in the region.

Deseret News: Scientists say they can predict Colorado River’s annual water supply. What does that mean for agriculture, wildfires?
By Daedan Olander

Scientists can now predict drought and overall water supply on the Colorado River years in advance, according to a new study published by researchers at Utah State University.

The Washington Post: Drought in western U.S. is biggest in years and predicted to worsen during winter months
By Matthew Cappucci

(Subscriber Only) The drought has already been a major contributor to record wildfire activity in California and Colorado. Its continuation could also deplete rivers, stifle crops and eventually drain water supplies in some Western states.

E&E News: Using biochar could net farmers major water conservation
By Marc Heller

(Subscriber Only) Farmers may be able to save as much as half their irrigation costs by adding a type of charcoal to the soil, researchers at Rice University said.

NBC News: Decades of mismanagement led to choked forests — now it's time to clear them out, fire experts say
By Alicia Victoria Lozano

As climate change continues to fuel dry conditions in the American West, many experts say it’s long past time to shift the focus back to managing healthy forests that can better withstand fire and add to a more sustainable future.

Scientific American: River Ecosystem Restoration Can Mean Just Add Water
By Jason G. Goldman

"Most important is just add water to these ecosystems. The species will find a way to get back there if you just put water back into these systems that we've dried up. The longer you can put water, and the more water you can put in, that's great for creating a more diverse habitat and a greater abundance of species."

Phys.org: More precise nitrogen recommendations for corn to help farmers, cut pollution
By Jeff Mulhollem

Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have developed an important component of a new system that corn growers can use to adjust nitrogen fertilizer applications based on site-specific measurements of cover crops and soil organic matter.

Phys.org: Best farming practices for soil health vary by region
By Emily Matzke

Farmers can use a variety of practices to keep their soils healthy. Some of these practices include not tilling the land, planting cover crops between growing seasons and rotating the type of crop grown on each field. However, research published in Agricultural & Environmental Letters, notes that information regarding soil health is often too generalized.

The Conversation: Restoring seagrasses can bring coastal bays back to life

More than 70 species of seagrasses grow in shallow waters around the world, on every continent except Antarctica. In Virginia, beds of eelgrass (Zostera marina) provided habitat for bay scallops and food for birds, and kept barrier islands from washing away.

AgNet West: Increasing More Targeted Cattle Grazing Is A ‘Win-Win-Win Opportunity’

A team of ten researchers looked closely at cattle grazing in California and determined that the practice has a great deal of potential in combatting catastrophic wildfires.

Bay Journal: Use of switchgrass growing in popularity for ag conservation
By Ad Crable

In a convergence of promising developments, a new study gives switchgrass lofty environmental grades and assures skeptics that it would not, like corn-based ethanol, be another biofuel that replaces a food crop with questionable environmental benefits.

Michigan Tech: Soils Contribute Greatly to Forest Fire Carbon Emissions
By Kelley Christensen

As climate warming stokes longer fire seasons and more severe fires in North American boreal forests, calculating how much carbon each fire burns grows more urgent. The amount depends more on available fuels than fire weather, shows new research from Northern Arizona University and Michigan Technological University, along with other collaborating institutions, published this week in Nature Climate Change.

Aberdeen News: Grant awarded for water quantity risk research to South Dakota State University, organizations

The Natural Resource Conservation Service has awarded a Conservation Collaboration Grant to South Dakota State University and The Nature Conservancy for a water quantity risk research project to take place in southeastern South Dakota.

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